Preparing Siblings: How to Welcome a New Baby in the Family

Older sibling cuddling baby sibling on bed

Preparing Siblings: How to Welcome a New Baby in the Family

Welcoming a new baby into the family is an exciting time! Of course, it also comes with a bit of apprehension, especially for soon-to-be big brothers or sisters.  

The arrival of a new sibling marks the beginning of a new chapter in the family’s life, one that brings with it changes and adjustments for everyone involved. Preparing siblings for this change is important for nurturing a positive, loving relationship right from the start. 

Join us as we navigate the journey of welcoming a new baby into the family, ensuring that every sibling begins this new chapter feeling loved and involved. 

The Importance of Preparing Siblings for a New Arrival 

There’s no denying that welcoming a new baby into the family is a big change – especially for siblings. While it’s easy for parents to comprehend this change, adjustments can be difficult for toddlers or young children. A new addition and changes to routine can be stressful, leading to your child acting out or showing signs of jealousy. 

Luckily, preparing siblings for a new arrival can go a long way in making the transition easier. Ensuring your older child knows they are loved is the key to helping them feel confident and secure during this time of change. 

Tips for Fostering Positive Sibling Relationships 

Whether you’re welcoming a new baby boy in the family or a girl, these tips can help foster a positive relationship between siblings. 

Announcing a New Arrival to Siblings 

Creating a positive relationship between siblings begins long before your bundle of joy is here. According to the Child Mind Institute, the more time your child has to get used to the idea of a new baby, the better. 

It’s best to tell your child about your pregnancy early on, or at the latest as soon as the baby begins to show. Even little ones can see that mom may be acting or looking different – and telling them why can ease any anxiety that comes with change! 

Consider making a special moment to announce your pregnancy to your older children. These creative ideas help build excitement and connection from the start. You can even have your child be involved in your larger pregnancy announcement, which can make your child feel included from the start. 

Adjusting Family Routines 

A newborn baby no doubt disrupts your typical family routine. From more diapers to sleepless nights. But, it’s not just mom and dad who are affected by the new schedule.  

A sudden change when baby comes home can be jarring for an older sibling, and lead to resentment. Slowly easing into a new routine throughout the pregnancy can make this change less scary. This can be as simple as having dad start to pick them up for school, or sometimes a larger change such as finding a daycare or school that can serve as a consistent space for your child even after baby arrives. 

Involve The Sibling in Preparations for Baby 

The Cleveland Clinic acknowledges that it can be easy for even well-meaning friends and family to get caught up in the excitement of the new baby. However, you want your child to feel special as well. 

Involve your child in preparations for baby, such as picking out toys for their room, helping to create a keepsake box, or promoting them to the “big sibling” role by having them take on age-appropriate responsibilities. 

Talk About Baby 

Talking about baby often not only helps create a positive relationship but also sets expectations. A toddler may not understand that welcoming a new baby girl in the family – or boy – doesn’t mean they get an immediate playmate. 

Talk about how a day might look with the newest member of your family – from the quiet moments to the crying. You can even show your child pictures or videos of when they were a baby to help them better understand. 

Ask For Help Caring for Baby 

Older brother giving  baby brother kiss

When baby does arrive, it’s important to keep involving your older child in the process. Create a special time for them to meet your new little one without the stress of other family members or friends around. 

Depending on how old your child is, they can help with baby at home. From bringing you a diaper to helping with feedings, this can help make an older child feel involved. Just make sure this doesn’t feel like a chore – after all, they’re still a kid!  

The responsibility for caring for a new baby is up to the parents. 

Answer Questions 

Even if your child isn’t involved in caring for baby, they might still be curious about caring for them. Chances are, they will have questions about diaper changes, breastfeeding, and more.  

These are times for education and also for bonding. You can provide age-appropriate answers to these questions that can help your older child understand their newborn sibling more. It can also make them feel heard and involved, even if you’re busy feeding or changing baby. 

Make One-On-One Time  

When a toddler is acting out after a new baby, it’s often because they feel left out. According to the Raising Children Network, children might express their feelings about new siblings through challenging behaviors like tantrums. 

3 year-old behavior problems after a new baby are common but manageable. One of the best things you can do is spend one-on-one time with your toddler or preschooler after baby arrives. Doing special things with them, whether it’s a trip to the park or a craft project at home, lets them know they’re important and you love them. 

You can also make sure your child feels special throughout the day by offering praise and words of encouragement. 

Celebrate a growing family with breastmilk jewelry! Personalize a necklace, ring, or set of earrings for yourself or a loved one. Shop by collection and order today at KeepsakeMom. 

Share this post